Freshman year of college can be confusing. There are so many new activities you can participate in, so many new friends you can hang out with, and so many opportunities to develop. However, you can’t forget about academic duties, like homework or group projects. Many students have a hard time accommodating to this new lifestyle, and most of them have no idea how to balance fun and responsibility. Partying too much will soon drop your grades, yet being in the library non-stop might drive you crazy. So, what do you do?
In order to find a good balance, there are certain steps you must take. The first one is understanding how important college is. There are a lot of students who take college education for granted and don’t do well in school for that reason. Thus, the second step is realizing how lucky you are to be attending college. The third step is finding a schedule that fits both of your needs and combines entertainment and commitment well together.
Here are 7 student skills essential for arriving at a compromise. Don’t hesitate to leave us feedback or comments! Good luck.
Learning how to plan your budget is a great skill for two reasons: one, you won’t end up broke like most students do, and two: you are going to use this quality in your future, so it’s better to start now. Planning your budget will be challenging at first, but as time passes by, you’ll get used to it. Controlling our money and not letting our money control us is crucial.
First, map out your costs for an entire week. How much do you spend on groceries, treats, parties, school supplies? Next, write down your income. Is there a weekly allowance coming from your parents? Are you working? Now think about other possible costs and sources of income. Review everything once again, and extract costs from income. If you got a negative number, it’s time to consider spending less. Look at your costs again, and stop spending on things that don’t bring you any benefits (for example, eating out when you have a kitchen).
2. Time Management
Managing your time is one of the most important skills to have in college, maybe even more important than budgeting. You must learn how to deal with daily activities, get involved on campus, go to classes, work, and do homework. All of these activities in one day. So, how?
By building a schedule and keeping a planner! Yes, it was that simple. Buy a nice planner and design it however you like it. Insert all activities each day, classes, and plan out your entire week. Make sure you don’t leave important activities out! Allow yourself time for breaks as well, but do have an approximation of how much time you’ll spend relaxing. Keep organized and avoid losing time!
3. Taking Initiative
Now that you’ve become familiar with the new environment, think about taking initiative. This is how we grow as humans, by constantly exposing ourselves to new challenges. Find a group that fits you – like a sports club, volunteering, or scuba diving – and join! Even though it might take some of your time, it is completely worth it. You are going to meet new people, and do activities that you truly enjoy!
Studying always comes first, but remember: being part of a team or group of people you have common interests with opens up new doors and perspectives.
4. Socializing and Networking
Since we are on this topic already, let’s dive into socializing for a little bit. Why and how? Making new friends and listening to new points of view is very important to your personal development. It adds great networking skills, and it makes you get out of your comfort zone. When we socialize, we are exposed to the new, so we must be curious and courageous. Thus, take the time to listen to your new friends and find out more about them while debating on interesting subjects!
P.S – As I said before, involving in different activities is very important as well, because that is how you meet new people and develop new relationships!
5. Working out
Taking time to work out is essential while in college! Partying and studying might “balance” your life, but working out will surely improve it. Take at least 30 minutes per day to jog, swim, lift weights, or ride your bicycle.
Being healthy (or unhealthy) has a strong impact on your life. When you feel unhealthy, you can’t really do anything. You sit on the couch, trying to get work done, but something inside your brain does not work properly. That’s when you know you need to work out! So do it. You must have a gym on campus. Sign up for that and try to go at least 3 times a week.
6. Finding the Right Tools
When we have too many tasks to accomplish, we can barely find time for ourselves anymore. While staying busy and excited about assignments is amazing, there are times when we need to ask for help. That leaves us more time for working or enjoying the activities that we love.
Good thing the online world has a wide variety of tools to help us with! If students need to check their spelling or grammar errors before handing in an important paper, they can use Grammarly or PolishMyWriting. If, on the other hand, they need helping writing their papers, they can use online writing services, such as Essay On Time. SpellChecker is another great tool to check your spelling and make sure you get the best grades.
7. Self-Confidence and “You Time”
When we get caught up in endless assignments and countless papers, we forget to breathe and relax. If you ever feel like that, take a step back and inhale some fresh air. Go for a walk, go to the gym if you are a bodybuilder, or go for a jog if you are a runner. If you don’t feel like moving, stop whatever you are doing and meditate. Play some calm, soul-soothing music, and focus on your breathing pattern. Inhale, exhale. Let go of negative thoughts, inhale positivity.
Another option for spending time with yourself is self-development. Keep a journal to track your emotional progress, and pay attention to your feelings. Work on your self-confidence, and get inspired by reading good books.
Surviving college will develop interesting skills within yourself. Make sure you stay healthy, eat well, and balance your personal life with your academics. Do study, but don’t forget your personal development. Also, don’t forget to party from time to time, and go to the gym constantly to stay in shape!
Steven Wesley is an ESL teacher, tech enthusiast, and creative writer. He is interested in technology as well as political issues and believes in the mighty power of the pen to change the modern world. Meet him on Twitter.